A new type of flexible micro-supercapacitors

Researchers from Nanyang Technological University in Singapore build a new type of flexible supercapacitor that aims to be used in wearables and other portable electronics such as T-shirts charging mobile phones. The new type of capacitor is made with out-of-plane wavy structures of graphene micro-ribbons specially placed so that they don’t break when stretched while keeping the electrodes at a relative constant distance.

Graphene normally breaks when stretched but the team of researchers managed to place it in such a way that it can bend without any issue and without affecting it’s electrochemical performance. It’s too early to see this capacitor in commercial devices as it’s capacity is such that can only power an LCD for a minute, but improvement is possible.

source: Elektor

Paperino, The ePaper Display Shield

ePaper displays  (EPDs) are becoming a trend in application, just like the display used in Amazon Kindle,  for their low power consumption due to the  to the underlying ‘bistable’ display technology. These displays can continue to show information without any power at all. It is only required while updating the display with new information, otherwise there won’t be any power consumption.

Providing such revolutionary displays to your applications will be a professional approach. For this, a new crowdfunding campaign is providing Paperino, an easy-to-use, micro ePaper shield for the Particle & Arduino community. Paperino simplifies driving ePaper displays with clean, simple, and short script examples.

Thanks to the plug-and-play shield for particle family, Paperino can be used with the following boards: Photon, Electron, or Bluz without manual wiring. It can also be wired easily to be connected with Arduino and other compatible boards.

Paperino Features

Glass-free Display

Paperino is lightweight and thinner than other ePaper products because it uses a glass-free ePaper display from Plastic Logic. It weighs 1.2 grams and is only 0.5 mm thick.

Supports Four Gray Levels

Unlike many other ePaper products out there, Paperino can support four gray levels instead of two (black and white).

Fast, Partial Updates

You don’t have to wait for slow, full screen updates to load. With Paperino, you can quickly update only parts of the screen.

Accelerometer

The integrated accelerometer lets you interact with your Paperino in all sorts of ways, including tap sensing. Tap sensing capability can trigger screen updates or wake up your microcontroller.

Paperino Specifications

The Paperino breakout board can be used for manually wiring your favourite, Arduino-compatible microcontroller with 3.3 V and >4kb of free RAM.

  • Resolution: 148 x 70 px
  • Pixel density: 150 ppi
  • Grey levels: 4
  • Weight: 1.2 g
  • Thickness: 500 µm
  • Power consumption: 4.5 mA (mean current for typical image update)
  • Operating conditions: 0°C .. 40°C
  • Storage conditions: -25°C .. 50°C

You can pre-order your own Paperino for $20 and with a driver board for $30. The crowdfunding campaign still has 16 days to go, and you can learn more details by checking it out.

FPV drone teardown

Michael Dunn @ edn.com did a quick tear-down of his drone.

The main processor is an ST STM32F031K6, an ARM Cortex-M0 with the usual cadre of peripherals, as well as a motor-control block (the leftmost large chip in Figure 2). Although at the lower end of the ARM continuum, it’s doubtless more than powerful enough for this application. Amazing what $1 will buy you in a microcontroller these days.

FPV drone teardown – [Link]

20×4 I2C Character LCD display with Arduino Uno

Our friends on educ8s.tv published a new video! Check it out.

Hello guys, I am Nick and welcome to educ8s.tv a channel that is all about DIY electronics projects with Arduino, Raspberry Pi, ESP8266 and other popular boards. Subscribe to the channel now if you don’t want to miss any future videos. In this video we are going learn how to use this inexpensive character LCD display with Arduino. After we learn how to use the display we are going to build something useful. A simple real time clock. Let’s start.

20×4 I2C Character LCD display with Arduino Uno [Link]

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge)

This compact board will help you to drive 4 Wheel Drive Robots, each axis can handle a load current up to 3 Amps and supply 12V – 48 V DC. Board requires two PWM and Dir. signals for full 4WD operations, mainly differential steering for taking turns left or right or complete 360 degree rotation. The module has been designed around LMD18201 from Texas Instruments. The LMD18201 is a 3A H-Bridge designed for motion control applications. The device is built using a multi-technology process which combines bipolar and CMOS control circuitry with DMOS power devices on the same monolithic structure. Ideal for driving DC and stepper motors; the LMD18200 accommodates peak output currents up to 6A. An innovative circuit which facilitates low-loss sensing of the output current has been implemented.

4 Wheel Robot Motor Driver ( 4X 3Amps LMD18201 H-Bridge) – [Link]

RELATED POSTS

Multi-brightness LED controller draws zero off-current

T A Babu @ edn.com has a design idea of a led controller with some nice features:

The key features of this Design Idea are:

Soft switch on/off operation

Zero current drain in sleep mode

Two level dimming

Low battery protection

Simple controller based on CMOS 4017 Johnson counter

Multi-brightness LED controller draws zero off-current – [Link]

Accelerometers for vibration measurements & wireless condition monitoring

Graham Prophet @ eedesignnewseurope.com discuss about two new MEMS accelerometers from Analog Devices:

Analog Devices (ADI) has added two devices to its low noise, low drift, low power, three-axis MEMS accelerometers. The low noise performance over high frequencies provided by the ADXL356 and ADXL357 MEMS accelerometers delivers high resolution vibration measurements that enable the early detection of machine failure in condition monitoring applications.

Accelerometers for vibration measurements & wireless condition monitoring – [Link]

Open Source UV Index Detector

Boris Landoni @ open-electronics.org documents his UV index detector.

It measures solar radiation and visualizes the corresponding value on the integrated display of a miniaturized Arduino, in order to tell us when to expose ourselves to the sun…

Open Source UV Index Detector – [Link]

SEPIC/Ćuk converter sprouts second output

by Gheorghe Plasoianu @ edn.com

Many applications require positive and negative supply voltages, with only one voltage requiring tight regulation. This Design Idea describes a dual-output, hybrid SEPICĆuk converter whose positive output voltage can be lesser or greater than the input voltage. The unregulated negative output is a mirrored replica of the positive output.

SEPIC/Ćuk converter sprouts second output – [Link]

Reverse engineering the 76477 sound effect chip

Ken Shirriff has written an article on reverse engineering the 76477 “Space Invaders” sound effect chip:

Remember the old video game Space Invaders? Some of its sound effects were provided by a chip called the 76477 Complex Sound Generation chip. While the sound effects1 produced by this 1978 chip seem primitive today, it was used in many video games, pinball games. But what’s inside this chip and how does it work internally? By reverse-engineering the chip from die photos, we can find out. (Photos courtesy of Sean Riddle.) In this article, I explain how the analog circuits of this chip works and show how the hundreds of transistors on the silicon die form the circuits of this complex chip.

Reverse engineering the 76477 sound effect chip – [Link]